Happy New Year!
It seems like just yesterday that we were wrapping up holiday services in our new sanctuary and catching our breath from installing a new location in East Valley. Flash forward a year and we’re wrapping up holiday services and catching our breath as we prepare for 2017.
Along the way, we’ve developed new processes and procedures for everything from how people get scheduled, how people stay connected and how people get onboard. We’ve got new voices, players and production techs. We’ve got new gear, new computers and new and new and new and new… but for a moment, I’d like to pause and think about the past.
When I came on staff in 2011, we were all catching our breath from having moved from CBU (kicked out, actually) and prepping for some substantial staff changes. We were already looking forward to adding a location, but we were all here, at one place and things were simpler. Smaller. Less complicated. Our biggest concern was whether or not people would die from light bulbs strewn about with volleyball nets and extension cords on extension cords.
When I think about that time, I think about how connected we all felt and how much of a collaborative effort it took to get things done. There were so few of us that everyone did a little of everything. And in that way, we were all on the same team. As any organization grows, it takes on all the challenges of a developing organism. More complex structures are necessary in order for the organism, and organization, to thrive.
2017 will see the complexity of our organization reach it’s zenith. We haven’t been simply waiting for this moment, we’ve been preparing for it. In order for us to continue to thrive, we must meet the challenge of this complexity. With that in mind, here’s a few organizational changes and some resources we’re hoping will foster better communication, collaboration and connection.
The biggest change in 2017 will be the addition of a Worship Director. We are so strong from the platform with accomplished worship leaders and strong volunteers, that we don’t need another worship leader. We need a leader of leaders. Someone who maintains close relational contact with worship leaders, sets the pace for creativity in worship, develops our brand of worship and creates new pathways for people to be involved. The Worship Director will formalize our intentions to record and distribute original music and find opportunities for our worship teams to be exposed on a global scale to the rest of the world. They will be a keen evaluator and create a feedback loop between all parties involved in the worship experience including campus pastors.
I’m excited about this position because it’s the place that I think I have failed the most. Our worship leaders are so strong that I often leave you guys to figure out things and be relationally connected while I’m off galavanting around with other organizational responsibilities. Part of me would love to hire a new creative director so I could just focus on worship, my first love, but I think bringing in some new blood is a better decision.
Additionally, we’ll be better resourcing worship teams in a number of ways:
- unified set lists at all campuses in order to move the entirety of our church to unified worship
- unified worship focus with weekly communication on the focus and feel of our set lists
- establish worship leaders at campuses and develop a rotation of back up leaders to provide worship leaders the opportunity to evaluate the weekend experience
With the ongoing development of 3 campuses and the addition of 2 or more campuses, production will have complexity in way we’ve not yet seen. Isaiah and his team have been doing an amazing job adjusting and training key leaders and that responsibility will grow as our organization grows.
Here are some additional changes we’re making in order to maximize our production capabilities:
- centralized production staff will execute full time and midweek production responsibilities as we add part time staff for campuses
- full time staff will add production ideas to creative brainstorms
- full time staff will plan for and execute launch of new campuses and provide training and support until new campus is fully functional on it’s own
For as much as we’ve tried to be predictive of what 2017 will bring, we know there are gaps we haven’t seen yet. But the hope is that we’re positioned well for the coming challenges and have adapted to the complexity necessary to thrive in 2017. Here’s what I know to be true; this is by far the best possible team assembled to face those challenges, together. I can’t say enough how proud I am of each of you, how proud I am of the work you put into creating worship experiences for our community and how well you hold the banner of the vision of being real. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store and I’m prayerful for your success, growth and leadership in the coming year.